Friday, May 25, 2012

"It's snowing at Sheep Ranch"

So said a voice in line at the grocery store.

"At Smith Station?" another asked.

"Yep."

I don't know whether there were two snowflakes or two inches of snow.  But it's not that far away and at about the same elevation as my house. Yesterday (well, day-before-yesterday) it was air conditioning, today heat.

We awakened to darkness and drizzle. By three o'clock, when I had to go to town to pick up a prescription, it was all sunny. I thought. I started out with only a vest over my shirt. It was freezing in the garage, so went back inside to fetch a jacket.

I wheeled out of the garage. I was living in a little island sun, surrounded by big billowy clouds, many of them black.







It's the silly season around here.

Notice how both signs have the same rhyme.

A lot of choices at this location

Traffic on the highway through town is already intense for the holiday weekend. Not only is Yosemite a big draw, but there is an outdoor music festival up near there that probably started tonight. We hope the weather improves for the travelers. It has been delightful in the lead-up, only to get wacky for the weekend. That happens, too often.

My prescription wasn't ready. It was supposed to have been sent to the pharmacy yesterday as I left the doctor's office.

Waiting for my appointment Thursday

Actually, snoozing over a magazine

When the prescription hadn't arrived at the pharmacy by the time I did after the appointment, I had them check whether they had any of my medication on hand (for migraine, just in case, for my upcoming trip). They didn't. Which is why I went back today. My prescription still hadn't arrived, so the medicine hadn't been ordered. This is supposed to be remedied by tomorrow. (I hate making the left turn out of the pharmacy into that Yosemite-bound traffic.)

We had a small group yesterday NeedleCrafts. A lot of our people are on the road for the holiday, too. Barbara finished a baby sweater she was knitting.  Really cute. And the deep yellow worked out better than some anticipated.



This has been a busy, eclectic week.  Besides clouds, there have been other reasons to look skyward. I tried to find something helpful about taking pictures of last Sunday's solar eclipse. I didn't understand how to apply most of the advice to my camera and I didn't have proper eye protection to get too fancy in figuring it out. I did a trial run Friday at pointing the camera backward over my shoulder. 

Test shot. I'm not impressed.


Sister, her friend Linda and I went out to lunch on Saturday, then did some shopping in the little town of Groveland. Serendipity has something of everything.

What about some big carved tusks to flank your door?

Or some big flowers to brighten your garden (that the deer won't eat)?


"Honest, I paid for my flower."

Real flowers in the jail's garden. Doesn't every jail have a beautiful garden?

Later that day I delivered Sister, Brother-in-Law and Linda to a wine cruise. I was their designated driver. Nonetheless, I had my own little disaster with the grape.


The stem broke. Grapes everywhere. Henley grabbed one but
batted it under the stove. Unlike spilt milk, grapes can be washed.

It was a big Sunday, too. The ladies went to a performance of the Pine Cone Singers in the afternoon.

This sextet and guitarist later performed a delightful arrangement of  "I Have A Dream."

The Pine Cone Singers


Frank Yablonski

Solos

Shirley Brasesco


After the performance, Sister, Brother-in-Law and Linda drove up toward Yosemite to have dinner at Evergreen Lodge, off in the forest. I tried to be good, so stayed home and worked on my pocket itinerary for my French Alps trip. Then I'd race outside every few minutes to see what I could or couldn't see of the solar eclipse.

I tried one of those pinhole things in a piece of cardboard shining through onto a white surface. I could see the little slices the moon took out of the sun, but I didn't have an extra hand to use the camera, so went back to the over-the-shoulder technique. These did not come out well, but I did catch a couple of blue sun sliver artifacts that I don't understand. I saw a similar photo on Facebook, but it doesn't strike me as being real, since I captured it on two different sides of the sun image. We are a little off the full eclipse trajectory, so didn't get darkness, just fairly dim, briefly.





I very diligently worked on my itinerary on Monday. Not a celestial or weather event was recorded.

Tuesday went back to busy. I did my French homework, interspersed with doing French translation for my foreign phone chip instructions for the itinerary stuff.

Before I took my shower and went to town, I noticed that my hair is all white. Did I lie on my driver's license? I'd left it at "brown" on my recent renewal, although I'd considered salt-and-pepper. It looks fairly brown in the DL picture. What is this white hair??? After the shower, I reexamined it. Here's me, trying to get an objective look at it.


Of course, the hair is still wet. Does it turn white as it dries?

Then I headed to the city down the hill early to get my new SASes stretched out a bit on a spot next to my pinky toe. I exchanged a cosmetic item in the wrong color at the drugstore. I tried Wal-Mart again to find a couple of miscellaneous items I couldn't find on a previous trip. Still couldn't find them. I finished my errands two hours before French class.

Now what? Killed an hour at Starbucks, sitting out on the patio in hopes of escaping all the chatter inside and have a quiet read of my book. I didn't get that but I did get pictures of leaves and skies and spiky little fruits or nuts or whatever on this tree.



Then I shifted to fast food and reading. I forgot to tell them to hold the whipped cream on my malt.




No one in French class, including the teacher, could figure out exactly what the translation is for "Conso Suivi." It has something to do with my French phone account. I came home to this beautiful sliver of moon, with Venus lurking nearby, up a little to the right behind the pine needles.



Wednesday Chloe had to go to the vet for her thyroid test. Wild cat that she is, she needs to be sedated to do the blood draw. It didn't help that as I was looking for her to put her in her crate, she had a dust up with Jean-Luc. In the scuffle, she dashed through the food dish. Grapes. Cat food. There seems to be a resemblance. In the scuffle putting her in the crate, she scratched me, too.



Jean-Luc checks out Chloe's crate after we get home.

And I check out Wednesday's moon, which is farther from Venus this evening.

I've covered the week full circle, bumping up against my Thursday out for this week with my doctor's appointment and Barbara's little sweater. But I'll leave you with Jean-Luc at play with his favorite toy today.

He practically snatches my hand off as he makes a grab for this ribbon, which he chases around the house by the hour.










See you soon.


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Paris and Giverny . . . May 25, 2007


Also known as fashion and flowers . . .


I was scrolling through photos, looking for a particular one from the mists of history to use with a planned blog. (No luck.)  In the meantime, I ran across a particular French portal into a courtyard that is one of my favorites. Last time, or maybe even more past times than that, that I was in that French town I tried to find the portal again. Last summer I concluded it was gone. It had been replaced by a crappy mini-mart. Had I or hadn't I taken a contrast picture of the mini-mart so I could decry the loss of that beautiful little entryway?

In that quest, I ran across the photos I'm posting here. They're from my pre-blogging days, so you've not seen them here before. And I just really like them.

I think this was the year that we took the train from Paris to Giverny, which you may know more familiarly as Monet's Garden. But first we walked to the metro station, to take the metro to the train station.

Our walk took us past Versace's windows.































I think this one for Darjeeling Lingerie was in a train station, judging by the reflection of windows in the glass. I'd have thought it might be a little racy for this blog if it hadn't already been out there for everyone to see. If it wasn't in a train station, it was on a street kiosk. It amazed me then. I've become more blasé over the years.





We took the train to the station nearest Giverny, in Vernon, then caught a shuttle bus -- well, a pretty big bus -- to Giverny, and walked the rest of the way to Monet's Garden, arriving mid afternoon. I've been there several times, but the thing I like about the pictures this time is that there are no people in them. I'm sure the garden wasn't unpeopled; perhaps it's just that I've concentrated more on closeups of the flowers. I think that lends a serenity to the scene.

Enjoy.







































































Are you relaxed now?


See you soon.


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